Recording Area Annual Totals

97 Species in 2013, 99 in 2012, 94 in 2011, 108 species were recorded in 2010;

Monday, 29 July 2013

Garden Butterflying

Lots and lots of butterflies visiting the Buddleia bushes in my garden including Commas, Peacocks and Large Whites.........

Monday, 22 July 2013

FIRECRESTS in Hodgemoor Wood

22/7 : 2 Firecrest : Hodgemoor Woods.
in the same fir tree near the small footpath rectangle on the SE side of the wood. Brief bursts of song also heard. Note: although the footpath rectangle is a public right of way and has been marked by the Chiltern Society, it is very difficult to follow due to ground cover and fallen trees. The Firecrests were near the NE side of the rectangle at SP97266 93443. The firs in this area have been marked with red spots by the FC.
(per Peter Stevens)

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Purple Emperors

A fourth day running with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius - with wall-to-wall sunshine but an increasing NE breeze
Following up on a visit by Dave Cleal earlier in the week, I spent several hours in HODGEMOOR WOODS this morning, transecting butterflies south of the main car park in Botterells Lane at SU 968 939. I was amazed at the selection on offer, including an incredible 30 WHITE ADMIRALS - the largest number I have ever seen at one site in Bucks, 2 or 3 male PURPLE EMPERORS, 4 PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS, 2 Commas, 25 Speckled Woods, 73 Ringlet and 14 Large Whites.
Not too many birds on offer but Red Kite, 7 Nuthatch (in two noisy family parties), Common Treecreeper, 2 Wren, 1 Song Thrush, 3 singing Goldcrest, 1 juvenile Common Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, Robin, 2 Coal Tits, several family parties of both Blue and Great Tit and a MARSH TIT
The wood is situated east of the Beaconsfield to Amersham Road (A 355) and is massive - very easy to get totally lost in and covered in a myriad of footpaths; lots of biting Horseflies too - most butterfly activity was concentrated in SE hectares
A further two male PURPLE EMPERORS were then seen in the wooded complex surrounding OLD AMERSHAM CREMATORIUM at SU 945 966

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

DEMOISELLES out in profusion

Temperatures were much lower than of recent days with a cool NE wind blowing, although did still peak at 72 degrees F. There was a lot more cloud too and a fresher feel in general.

Small Tortoiseshell

Large Skipper

Small Tortoiseshell

Juvenile Moorhen peeking out from the sedges

 Within the CHESS VALLEY, Beautiful Demoiselles were emerging in abundance, with quite a few Small Tortoiseshells on the wing too; WESTERN REED WARBLERS have bred successfully at CHESHAM FISHING LAKES and the Grey Herons are still incubating. A male BULLFINCH was the first in my LITTLE CHALFONT garden in a while (see pic below), feasting as usual on the white sunflower hearts on the birdtable, whilst the 18-strong Common Swift flock now included several screaming juveniles of the year.

 To make the most of the heat, I spent another day butterflying - this time concentrating on DARK GREEN FRITILLARIES on the IVINGHOE HILLS. Despite counting over 40, I failed to photograph any but whilst scaling the side of Steps Hill in search of them, a TREE PIPIT flew over me calling, heading away towards Incombe Hole. Intriguingly, a singing male had been reported in this area only recently - so possibly breeding. Lots and lots of butterflies on the wing, including 35 Marbled White, 8 Small Tortoiseshell, 150 Ringlet, 15 Small Heath, 2 Brimstone and 50 Meadow Brown, whilst a pair of BULLFINCH were in Top Scrub, 10+ Meadow Pipits in breeding groups, a jangling male CORN BUNTING at the base of Steps Hill and pair of Yellowhammers.

On neighbouring DOWN FARM CEREAL FIELDS, the COMMON QUAIL was still calling and 3 CORN BUNTINGS were still marking out their territories.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

More locally breeding FIRECRESTS

Popped out for a short while whilst it was raining, noticing this blue effluent in the Chess just downriver of Neptune's Falls.......presumably relating to the spill at Waterside in Chesham

The milky-turquoise hue to the water below Neptunes Falls

The view downriver from Neptunes Bridge..

......and upriver

.....and the Falls and Neptune

Not much around other than 2 Jays, 1 Little Grebe, 3 adult Mute Swans and a family party of Mallards, whilst 8 nests of HOUSE MARTIN were active at the Village House, at least 3 birds almost ready to fledge...

At Chenies Bottom, this male Common Whitethroat was singing in the rain - literally

I then drove up to Chipperfield Common where Ian Bennell had discovered FIRECRESTS about a month ago. Walking along King's Lane, I quickly located at least 2 singing males (probably three) - with singles at 'Greenfield' and 'Kingswood' and much activity in the shrubbery opposite 'Waterhouse & Sons'....

The trees in which the Firecrests were inhabiting